Property Damage: The Top 5 Causes

While no one wants to imagine something going wrong with their house, accidents happen. It’s important to be prepared for the worst. When a bad storm hits your town or a pipe bursts in your basement, for example, it can create severe and costly property damage.

Home insurance is critical to protecting your home when damage strikes; it’ll help cover the expenses when you need to fix or replace something. While claims may be unpredictable, there are a few things you can do around your house to help prevent these common causes of property damage in the first place.

Top 5 Causes of Property Damage

Travelers Insurance just released its Top Five Ways Things Can Go Wrong interactive report, showing the most common and costly causes of home damage based on eight years of claim data. Here are the top five causes of property damage to prepare for:

1. WIND

The Damage

The most common causes of property damage and home insurance claims are wind-related. Gusts of wind can uproot trees, damage roofs or even send outdoor furniture flying through windows.

What You Can Do

It’s important to limit the risk before the wind picks up. Look around your house and ask yourself ‘What could hit my home?’ Trees that are close to your home, furniture, etc can all be a cause of damage in high winds. Once you identify your risks, take precautions. Keeping trees pruned, strengthening structures and storing projectile objects indoors before a storm are great ways to get your home ready. This simple step could be the difference between a home insurance claim or just a little clean up once the storm passes.

2. NONWEATHER-RELATED WATER

Twenty percent of reported property damage comes from nonweather-related water.

The Damage

When you think of water damage, you likely think of weather and flooding as the most common source. However, it’s actually more common for damage to come from water that is already inside your home. Things like the dishwasher, washing machine, pipes and toilets can all cause leaks or flooding.

What You Can Do

Always know where the water sources are and perform routine inspections. For example, if your washing machine has a rubber hose, you should check it annually for cracks or wear. Also consider turning off your water when you will be away from home for a long periods of time.

3. HAIL

The Damage

Hail affects many different areas of the country, sometimes unexpectedly. Because it is often difficult to avoid hail striking, it is no surprise that it causes costly damage to cars and homes.

What You Can Do

If you have car, park it in a garage or under a roof if possible. Move items susceptible to hail damage, such as patio furniture, indoors or under a covered area.

While you can’t do much to protect your home or roof, you can try to strengthen it before hail strikes. Installing sturdy building materials that are more resistant to this type of hazard can reduce the damage.

4. WEATHER-RELATED WATER

The Damage

While it may not be as high on the list as nonweather-related water claims, storms can bring costly water claims. Heavy rain and flooding can do a number on your house, but there are a few things you can do to prevent damage.

What You Can Do

Make sure your roof is in good condition and that the shingles aren’t old and worn. Downspouts should direct water away from home. Keep your gutters properly cleaned and free of debris. Take note of any areas where water pools near your home after a heavy rain and level the ground or install drainage. During the winter months, remove snow accumulation from the roof after every storm and insulate pipes.

5. THEFT

The Damage

According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 20 seconds. Summer is also the peak season for home break ins. Areas of your home with little visibility could attract thieves.

What You Can Do

What you have around your house could enable or discourage a thief from targeting your home. Keep all shrubbery and trees cut short and trimmed to increase visibility. Installing motion sensor lights can deter thieves and increase the visibility of your property. Always keep your doors and windows locked, especially if you will be away.

Did any of the top 5 home insurance claims to prepare for surprise you? Have you dealt with one of these claims before? How are you preparing to prevent future claims? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and for more ways to protect your home, just call us at 724-929-2300 today! Our friendly, local agents are here to help you understand your coverage and get you the right policy for you at the best price!

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